Roland Binet’s Musical and Video Creations: A Journey of Truth and Education on the Holocaust in Latvia


Editor’s note: At our request, Defending History’s longstanding correspondent Roland Binet compiled this provisional list of his musical and video creations over the years relevant to issues covered by DH. Although Roland Binet has contributed to DH since 2010 there is an aspect of his work perhaps unknown to our readers. He has been a creative musician for more than fifty years playing mostly the flute and  has composed more than a hundred  pieces of original music. His music is based on modal, pentatonic, Chinese or Japanese scales as well as aleatory contemporary improvisations with periodic jazz influences. He has made his jazz multi-instrumentalist Eric Dolphy’s quote on his last album “When you hear music and it is over, you can never capture it again”. But, of course, thanks to the numerous recordings he made, these aleatory instants can be heard on purely musical sites such as Reverbnation or Bandcamp. After his initial visit to Riga in 2009 and the shock he felt when he looked for the first time at pictures of the Liepaja massacre at the Riga Jewish Museum he took to studying the history of the Holocaust in the Baltic States. From there  it was only a small step to play and compose music in honor of the hundreds of thousands of Jews who had paid with their lives and belongings  for the crime of being Jewish  in countries that chose to collaborate enthusiastically with the Nazi killers.

by Roland Binet (De Panne, Belgium)

I began contributing to Defending History in the autumn of 2010. I have written articles dealing primarily with the Holocaust in the Baltic states. Firstly, to keep alive the memory of the hundreds of thousands of Jewish victims slain not only by the Nazi forces but also by local inhabitant collaborators in the Baltic states. Secondly, to combat the rampant revisionism, the rewriting of the history of World War II. This is particularly salient in Latvia and Lithuania, countries whose elites in government, education, media, the arts and more have been unable to come to terms with their past. They have engaged in contortions and distortions that multiply the historical evil by present-day efforts to twist the history and export their revisionism right to the West’s own historiography and culture of remembrance.

Apart from my opinion pieces published in Defending History, I have had the opportunity to create works of art focused on the Holocaust in the Baltics. These can be divided into two categories: (1)  musical compositions, (2) videos comprising Holocaust stills with my own compositions as background music. Over a length of time, these have been posted on different websites, musical sites as well as on Youtube.

This is a non-exhaustive list of just some of those which I hope will most interest Defending History’s readers.


A musical suite for flute solo entitled A Jewish Tragedy is set out in five parts: War, Ghetto, Killing Pits, Liberation, Remembrance. They were created in remembrance of the Jewish victims of the Holocaust in the Baltic States. It was posted on Reverberation (via search under artist name) on 31 May 2015. Originally, the CD had been produced in 2014 in cooperation with the Riga Ghetto and Latvian Holocaust Museum in Riga, Latvia. A twenty-page leaflet in English accompanied the recording. I was honored and touched that the CD was included in the libraries of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) in Washington, DC, as well as in the National Library of Israel in Jerusalem (HNUL). Defending History published the complete text of the booklet on 30 January 2014 and provided the link to the musical suite A Jewish Tragedy in May of 2014.


Another piece of music for flute solo solely dedicated to the memory of the nearly 28,000 Jews killed in a forest outside Riga in November and December 1941, entitled Rumbula (where the massacres took place), is accessible on (search author’s name), where it was posted on 12 January 2017. Defending History posted the text, with a link to the music online, on 23 October 2013, as well as another composition dedicated to the Jews of the Baltic States, Threnody.


On Youtube, there are numerous videos I have posted on different subjects, but one of the main topics relates to World War II and the Holocaust. The videos are usually built around historical photographs with a  duration of five to ten seconds per picture and my own compositions as accompaniment.

Below is a list including those that are most important for me.

Liepaja, A Jewish Tragedy, the killing pits

Music:  Jewish Tragedy, part III (flute solo), posted 2 Feb. 2014.

Liepaja Skede, massacre of the Jews in Latvia 1941

Music: Threnody (flute solo), posted 21 Sept. 2014.

Holocaust Einsatzgruppen Pogroms

Music:  Pentatune (organ and flute), posted  11 Oct. 2014.

Rumbula: A Jewish Tragedy in Latvia

Music: Rumbula (flute solo); posted on 19 Aug. 2016.

Einsatzgruppen and their willing henchmen

Music: Afternoon (synthesizer and flute solo), posted 21 June 2017.

The following supplementary list comprises further work posted on Youtube.

Rumbula and Ponary Remembrance

Music:  A Jewish Tragedy, part V (flute solo), 9 Sept. 2014.

Warsaw Ghetto Descent into Hell

Music: Vacuum (flute solo), 23 March 2015.

80 Years ago in June-July 1941: Initiation of the Holocaust in the East

Music:  Rumbula and Threnody (flute solo), 12 July 2021.

Two videos relate to the pro-Nazi stance held by current official Latvia:


March of the Latvian Legionnaires in Riga in 2012

Music: The Bell Tolls for Thee, 8 March 2021. The pictures were taken by my wife Francine Casteels on 16 March 16, 2012 (note: at timecode 4:00 there is in image of DH editor Dovid Katz, taken by pure coincidence as I did not know that he was among the protesters on the day; to his right is Defending History contributor Monica Lowenberg of London).

Latvia’s Hardcore Nazis

Music: Rumbula (flute solo), 5 Sept. 2021. This video was intended as a satire in pictures of the role of Latvia starting with the slaughter of the Jews and ending with the saga of the pro-Nazi monument in Zedelgem (West Flanders/Belgium) supposedly in honor of freedom but in fact a tribute to the roughly 12,000 Latvian Legionnaires from the Waffen SS who were detained there in 1945/1946. Funded by the Occupation Museum in Riga and the local municipality of Zedelgem, there had even been an official intervention from the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. But in the meantime, due to massive interventions from intellectuals and journalists, including our own successful campaign here in Defending History, the monument has been taken down in a major success for containing the Eastern effort to export glorification of Hitler collaborators to Western Europe.


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